Juggling the demands of being a mother along with the demands of a career can be a testing, challenging task. Juliet Turnbull has provided a solution to the problem by creating a website specifically aimed at mothers who want to return to the workforce part-time, into roles that are fulfilling and in line with their careers.
Juliet decided to setup the website in July 2015, after 12 years of working in the property sector. She realised that she wanted to build her own company on the terms (and hours) that worked for her as a parent.
“I wanted to perform those different roles as a woman to the best of my ability,” Turnbull told HuffPost UK Parents.
Juggling work and motherhood is a common topic of conversation between mothers, some women want to carry on building their careers but don’t necessarily want to work full-time hours.
“There are so many mothers out there who are highly skilled and have a huge amount to offer but have difficulty combining their career with motherhood,” Turnbull explained.
“From my experience, their output is second to none, ‘when you want a job done, ask a busy person’ couldn’t be more applicable than to a highly capable mother.”
The problem lies in women not knowing where, or even if – fulfilling part-time roles exist.
She added: “If a mother has been fortunate enough to find a satisfying part-time position, it probably would have been through a dinner party chat or an anecdotal conversation.
“Most mothers believe that the default working position is full-time, a lowly part-time job or no job at all.”
Her research began by contacting companies nationwide to see whether there were employers who were willing to employ committed and talented staff on a flexible basis. The research proved positive as employers knew there was an under-utilised talent pool of mothers out there but had no way to search them out.
This is where the concept of the 2to3days.com website comes in as a useful tool to remedy the situation – the formal meeting place for both mothers and employers to connect.
Turnbull explained: “The aim was to create a compelling community of mothers, employers and experts who could connect and challenge the norms around flexible working.
“We wanted to support companies where people work smarter, not longer and create workplaces where mothers can combine be valued for the contributions they make both at work and home.”
Turnbull said the name of the website just naturally rolled off the tongue, adding: “Everyone gets it in a heartbeat.”
In order to launch the site, Turnbull listed the employers from her research who were open and keen to employ flexible working mothers. Software designers then helped to create a system which matched the criteria of employers with the skills and experience of mothers. The system then generates a shortlist of vacancies for the mothers, and potential candidates for the employers nationally, both of which appear in their “matchbox”.
“We also created an option for mothers to hunt for three different jobs at the same time,” Turnbull added. “This is because so many mothers will have had varied work experiences and may well be qualified to pursue more than one job type.”
“We designed a private forum, where mothers can share their worries and concerns and gain the support and advice of likeminded women.
“Mothers can also connect with and arrange to meet other mothers, and mentor each other in their respective professions.
“The site is so much more than just connecting mothers and employers.”
The member fees are reasonable at just £20 per month, per user and once signed up you receive your own interactive dashboard.
Services include joining with other mothers to create mentor/mentee relationships, discussing job-shares and reality check exercises which helps mothers get clarity about how much time they are available to work and how much money they want to earn.
The website aims to get the message across to mothers that there is flexible and fulfilling part-time work on the job market, but you’ll need to be clear about what you’re looking for.
She added: “You’ll need to ask yourself some honest questions before you even start looking for work.
“What is your ideal job? What would energise you so that you’re in the right mind-set to juggle home and work? Where does it need to be based? How many hours do you want to work? And how much do you want to earn?
“It might pay to get someone outside your immediate circle to help you answer all those questions and guide you to clarity.
“A career break doesn’t need to look like a hole in your CV, in fact quite the opposite. Mothers develop fantastic transferrable skills bringing up their children which translate directly into the workplace.
“Then it’s time to get organised. Make sure you’ve got the right childcare sorted out so that you don’t feel angst-ridden when you walk out of the house.
“And if you need to refresh your skills, an expert trainer could pay dividends. We’ve created a directory of experts who are on hand for just that reason.”
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